“Great writers present us with gifts as well as dilemmas. In this unflinching set of essays by scholars and practitioners of inclusive western history, Wallace Stegner is presented as bearing both. From various angles and social positions the contributors in this enlightening collection examine Stegner’s ideas, texts, political commitments, blind spots, and legacies, revealing not only Stegner’s mixed impact on American literature and culture but also how his critical vision can spark hope in these troubled times.”—Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, winner of the National Book Award
“Reappraisal is the perpetual destiny of artists and writers, so revisiting the life and messages of Wallace Stegner, the quintessential literary voice of the American West, is inevitable. In a collection that transports Stegner into the twenty-first century, the gifts the famed writer bequeathed us—beautiful expression, insights that can shade into horror, and yet hope for the future—are on display from every contributor. For all who treasure Stegner’s prose, his promotion of the art of writing, and his immersion in epic environmental battles, this smart, cutting-edge anthology may be the best book about him yet.”—Dan Flores, New York Times best-selling author of Coyote America and Wild New World
“Wallace Stegner was one of the greatest original minds America ever produced, and I think he’d be quietly happy to see his work expanded, challenged, and built on to great effect in this smart volume. It’s a very high tribute.”—Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
“The contributors to Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled County revisit Stegner’s work in a critical and thoughtful way that reminds us of the brilliance of Stegner without glossing over his many faults as an observer of the American West. By drawing on inspiration from Stegner’s poignant observations, in these essays we find insight into what makes the American West such a complex and compelling region of study. As the authors remind us, only by dealing critically with our past as an unsettled region can we hope to make a better future.”—María E. Montoya, author of Translating Property: The Maxwell Land Grant and the Conflict over Land in the American West, 1840–1900
“To this day, Wallace Stegner continues to stand as the greatest writer on the modern American West. Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country captures his life and prominence beautifully. . . . As the authors ably show, his understanding of the past and vision for the future was based on his lifetime out on the ground in the arid West and his impeccable research into history, literature, and public policy. Stegner’s work was perhaps the most single important body of thought during the congressional action of the 1970s that is still the heart of modern conservation policy.”—Charles Wilkinson, author of Crossing the Next Meridian: Land, Water, and the Future of the West